• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline! The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy will be available on November 16, 2021 and can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is being released January 14, 2022, and is available for ordering here.

Small parts of Carpenters songs that hook you

Tony

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Yesterday I fixated on the ending of "I Won't Last a Day Without You", the harmony bit that closes the song. I've heard that part a thousand times, but for whatever reason it sounded fresh yesterday and I played it at least 20 times in a row. The lovely harmonies and the subtle swell on the word 'you', done with no vibrato, brings a satisfying closure to the song for me. It's a little piece of perfection.
 

GATourist

Member
Had one of these today. At the fade of "Kiss Me"..... that little delay and teeny syncopation during the chorus:

"Kiss me .. (hesitate) .... yeah! ... the way you did last night...."

Yup. Replayed it at least half a dozen times.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
I am really late to the party on this thread...but the topic is too great to pass up! Too many memorable bits from The Carpenters that endear them to me but here goes...the last line "if only in my dreams..." on I'll Be Home For Christmas breaks my heart and the tears start to flow every time guaranteed. The middle break on Crescent Noon comes out of nowhere and is absolutely beautiful harmony from Richard and Karen. On This Masquerade, the exquisite piano/flute solos are highlighted by the duo coming in with that "Ouoooowoooohoooo". And of course, Karen's SEXY vocals on the same track. The french horn and harmonica intros on Superstar and Rainy Days & Mondays respectively. Also, I have always loved the way Karen sang "and" on a lot of these songs (example: On Top Of The World).
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Richard is an amazing arranger!
I completely agree. A lot of these "nuances" that make their sound so memorable to us is the result of painstaking effort on the part of Richard Carpenter; sweating the details during the arrangement. The harmonies, the piano interludes, strings, overdubbing of vocals, etc; were all micromanaged by Richard to an incredibly high standard.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
on the carpenters/como medley I always get goosebumps and it hits me when Karen sings "And yes I know how lonely Life can be, the shadows follow me and the nights won't set me free" she sings it with a huge amount of emotion like she has experienced it. Beautiful and chilling.
I loved that song when Como sang it...I was not aware that it was recorded by the duo. I am going to have to hear that version "real quick". What CD/album is it on? I'm sure I can get it on YouTube...
 

Tony

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I'm probably atypical in comparison to most others on this forum because I will sometimes go weeks without listening to the Carpenters. But when I do, things often sound remarkably fresh to my ears. Yesterday I had to do a two-hour drive and I took along The Singles: 1969-1973 CD, something I haven't listened to in years. I'd forgotten about the prelude that opens the album, and I was absolutely amazed how beautiful it sounded after not having heard it for so long. Karen's little snippet of "Close to You" is simply gorgeous. Very little percussion is used, just cymbals and high-hat, but it's done to good effect. And the instrumental variation on "Superstar", particularly the strings, is nothing short of enchanting. I've played it at least 50 times since yesterday.
 

theninjarabbit

Well-Known Member
I'm probably atypical in comparison to most others on this forum because I will sometimes go weeks without listening to the Carpenters. But when I do, things often sound remarkably fresh to my ears. Yesterday I had to do a two-hour drive and I took along The Singles: 1969-1973 CD, something I haven't listened to in years. I'd forgotten about the prelude that opens the album, and I was absolutely amazed how beautiful it sounded after not having heard it for so long. Karen's little snippet of "Close to You" is simply gorgeous. Very little percussion is used, just cymbals and high-hat, but it's done to good effect. And the instrumental variation on "Superstar", particularly the strings, is nothing short of enchanting. I've played it at least 50 times since yesterday.

It's true! I have so much other music in the rotation, sometimes it's a little while before I hear my favorite duo again. I pulled out my GOLD anniversary disc for the first time in a bit, and all of the songs enchanted me. That's the magic of Carpenters at work.
 

Buried Alien

Active Member
The section of "Rainy Days and Mondays" when Karen sings the first "funny how it seems I always wind up here with you..." and the following string flourishes represents, to my ears, the single most glorious moment in the Carpenters' recording history.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Yesterday I had to do a two-hour drive and I took along The Singles: 1969-1973 CD, something I haven't listened to in years. I'd forgotten about the prelude that opens the album, and I was absolutely amazed how beautiful it sounded after not having heard it for so long. Karen's little snippet of "Close to You" is simply gorgeous.

I was taken by that snippet of Close To You the very first time I heard it. On the word "time" (every time, you are near), Karen doesn't quite hit the note bang on, but it makes it all the more charming, even better than the original. I'm sure when a lot of people heard the album in 1973, they must have been confused to hear this opening, as the track list showed the album starting with We've Only Just Begun.
 

Tony

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I was taken by that snippet of Close To You the very first time I heard it. On the word "time" (every time, you are near), Karen doesn't quite hit the note bang on, but it makes it all the more charming, even better than the original.
Yes, better than the original. I've been fixated on her tone on this since Friday, particularly on the words "why" and "appear". I don't think of myself as having OCD, but when it comes to the Carpenters I find that I occasionally do become ridiculously obsessive.

And I forgot to mention earlier how much I love the harp on this prelude. Heavenly.
 

BarryT60

Well-Known Member
Funny that this topic came to the top of the heap this morning, as I intended to bring it up today as well!

So - yesterday was fathers day and I decided to wear my Carpenters T-Shirt to breakfast with my sons... and to validate the thought, I set my iPhone on Carpenters for my early morning run....

Listened to Horizon and found two songs, and actually two lines, particularly, that I re-listened to three or four times....

Much has been said about the "devil and the deep blue sea" line of I'm Caught Between Goodbye and I Love You - and damn - if it doesn't get to me every time... That song really is special. In today's world - I would hope that they'd have released that as a country single. (Footnote: I do wish however, they'd have changed the lyric to "I've been thinking these past few weeks" instead of days. Realistically, does anyone decide to leave in a matter of days?) :wink:

But the real impetus for my note today is the last song, Love Me For What I Am... The choice Karen made at the very end, when she repeats that line, "You're really not in love" in almost a whisper to her partner, is so perfect. So utterly personal and touching... 6 syllables of pure realization and resolve - that it just took me by surprise after all these years.

Makes me wonder if she made that choice on the spot - or decided to use that treatment on rehearsals... Just really a sweet delivery. and one I couldn't wait to mention here today!

Thanks!
 
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